Ella Uppala vid Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet har gjort ett examensarbete om gestaltningsfrågor vid val av stadsentréernas lokalisering, med Södra infarten till Stockholmsregionen som exempel.
Titel: Aesthetic considerations in localization decisions of city entrances – The Southern approach to Greater Stockholm Region as an example (Gestaltningsfrågor vid val av stadsentréernas lokalisering – Södra infarten till Stockholmsregionen som exempel)
Författare: Ella Uppala
Handledare på Trafikverket: Kerstin Gustavsson, miljöstrateg/utredare Miljö och Hälsa
This thesis is about the aesthetic qualities of highways that function as approach roads to cities, regions, and the different municipalities of these regions. A question that is posed is about the relevance of aesthetic considerations in the localization decisions of elements that signal approaching and entering areas along the highway: How can the need for cues of entrance be localized along city approaches, based on aesthetic criteria formulated from the road user's perspective?
The question was deemed important for two reasons. Approach roads are a significant part of many commuters' daily landscape, and their aesthetic qualities have an effect on the commuters' psychological processes, traffic behavior and quality of life. As such, aesthetic considerations on approach roads are a part of the discussion about the quality of people's living environments in general. The second reason is specific to city approaches and –entrances as expressions of identity of a place and other meanings that change the road user's impression of the places they are approaching, reaching and passing by. During the project it was found that the words "city entrance" and "city gate" have very strong connotations and associations, especially on a regional level where each municipality and district vie for the honor of being called the entrance to the region. To better understand the multiple functions and values that elements in the road environment that signal approach and entering can have, a new, less loaded concept of "cues of entrance" was created.
In order to understand what the role of aesthetics in the road environment and especially along approach roads is, a literature study was conducted. The literature study yielded a great amount of information about how the road user experiences the aesthetic aspects of their environment, and how they influence their further experience of the road and the places around it. The findings of the literature study were then formulated into goals for the aesthetic components of the road environment.
These goals can also serve as criteria for evaluating the suitability of a certain location for new cues of entrance. The practical inspiration for pursuing the subject was to create an analysis of the European highway E4/E20 in its role as the Southern Approach to Greater Stockholm Region. The highway has been analyzed from the municipality of Botkyrka to the southern districts of Stockholm city, and evaluated from an aesthetic point of view. The aesthetic qualities of the road environment along the highway that contributed to a sense of approaching to or arriving in different places were paid special attention to.
Evaluating the analysis of the approach road E4/E20 according to the goals for the aesthetic components of the road environment resulted in recommendations for improving the road environment along the highway, in some cases by adding new cues of entrance in specific locations.